Swindon’s former Debenhams store could be turned into a self-storage scheme of 900 lockers.
The building owner, Meadow Partners, and self-storage operator StoreAway have jointly submitted plans to Swindon Borough Council to create a state-of-the-art storage hub at the 100,000 sq ft, 1960s building.
The joint developers plan to retain retail units on the ground floor of the building with the storage above and below.
The business opened its first venue in former retail space in Liverpool and plans further sites at Birmingham, Basildon, Cheltenham and Bath, which will launch over the next few months.
StoreAway joint managing director Richard Lanyon, who has more than 30 years’ experience as a chartered surveyor, said: “We really want to make this building a part of our nationwide strategy, especially at such an important time in the town’s regeneration.
“The store is situated in an extremely important location, linking Kimmerfields to the town centre, and is adjacent to the new bus boulevard and opposite a recently agreed 400 apartment housing development.
“StoreAway looks exclusively at large redundant office and retail spaces in the hope of bringing them back into use sustainably, whilst providing a necessary service to the public whilst often within walking distance of its customers.
“We know that our offering would be of particular benefit to the local community and businesses alike – it’s an idea inclusive of all demographics, from those moving house and needing a place for their furniture, companies requiring extra stockroom space or individuals on the lookout for a place to store their clutter.”
Fellow joint managing director Christian Yates said: “Town and city centre self-storage is a distinct convenience for city dwellers and city centre businesses, providing flexible storage space that can be easily accessed on foot with the majority of our client base normally within 10-15 mins from the store. This will directly support those living in the local residential development nearby.
“The flexible space aspect will be attractive to local businesses and tradespeople especially start-ups who are not in a position to commit to long term leases and who need flexible, convenient space to store samples, stock, records, files and equipment.
“For retailers in particular, inner city self-storage is also increasingly forming part of the ‘last mile’ logistics distribution process.”
Subject to planning, the joint applicants hope to be able to start work in Spring 2023.
StoreAway customers can use an app to book space, arrange a drop-in time or visit their locker and allow shared access with friends and family.
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